Cronuts: Delicious and Trademarked

Cronuts: Delicious and Trademarked cumi&ciki, via Wikimedia Commons

Riding the coattails of someone else’s success might seem like a good idea, but as attorney Brett Snider explains on FindLaw’s Free Enterprise, imitating a trademarked product can lead to legal problems.

According to the Associated Press, Little Bigs Bakery in South Portland, Maine, got into trouble after unveiling its own Cronut, a croissant-donut hybrid. When the business credited with inventing it, the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, found out, it ordered Little Bigs to cease and desist.

Snider says while you can’t copyright the recipe for Cronuts, it is possible to register the trademark name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is what Ansel did. The trademark took effect this January.

As a result, he says the Maine bakery and others can still make Cronuts using the same ingredients, they just can’t call them that. Snider says Little Bigs still plans to sell its version, but has renamed it “C&Ds” for cease and desist.

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